To The Editor:

When Larry Davis, Jim Tayon and I took that first group of veterans, we thought it was just going to be one trip.  Here we are 10 years later and almost 2,000 veterans have flown on a mission to Washington, D.C.   

In the beginning it was just Larry, Jim, Jennifer Schafler and I.  Jennifer, my staff person, was indispensable.  As our missions grew, so did the need for additional volunteers.  Not once did we have anyone we asked to volunteer decline.  

Larry, Jim and I may be the ones who got it started, but we are not the ones who keep it going.  We continue to have very generous businesses and individuals donate their services.  Our media coverage has always been superb. We have never had a shortage of guardians who escort the veterans and must pay their own way.  Law enforcement and motorcycle escorts to and from the airport are very meaningful.  

 Enthusiastic individuals giving us a send-off at the airport and greeting us upon our return are so heartwarming.  

None of this would be possible if not for the generosity of organizations hosting numerous fundraisers, and all of those making individual donations. We have a very strong and dedicated board of directors.  I just completed my 49th trip, and I was just as excited and proud to escort that group of 31 veterans, as I was the original group of seven World War II veterans 10 years ago.    

Most of all, I give my sincere thanks and appreciation to all veterans.  As we all know, they are truly the ones who make America great!